Auto Shop Coaching Blog

Something to Consider When You Feel Like Giving Up

You can never tell how close you are, it may be near when it seems far. John Greenleaf Whittier

Have you ever felt like giving up? “Mike” and “Harry” certainly did. They were frustrated by their general manager’s performance failures. He was highly compensated, but his results weren’t on par with his pay.

In spite of their best efforts to provide training and coaching, sales were slipping, profits were plummeting, and morale was moving in the wrong direction.

They ran hiring ads to find the right general manager, but only the forklift drivers applied! When they did meet a promising prospect, the candidate would “forget “to show up for the interview! It was truly a frustrating situation.

One day, while Mike and Harry were attending an out of town business meeting, they stopped into a convenience store to grab some snacks. They were both impressed with the service provided by “Dan” the convenience store manager.

“We need to hire Dan!” said Harry. “We can’t do that!” said Mike. “Dan would have to relocate to work for us!” Harry then made the following plea to Mike, “Let’s just exchange business cards with him and go from there.” So they did.

Harry called Dan a month later to touch base. What Dan said next caught them by surprise, “Harry, I’m glad you called. I’ve been thinking about you guys since you came into my store that day!” 

As it turned out, Dan was frustrated with his work situation and was looking for a change. He felt like giving up. They hired him, and he became their general manager!

Fifteen years later, the business has expanded to five locations and Dan is one of the most successful automotive general managers in the ATI program.

Here’s what we’ve learned from Mike, Harry, and Dan: You’re only one decision away from being on a better path. This is something to consider when you feel like giving up. 

What path are you on right now? Stay with me to learn what you can do to overcome the urge to give up.

Use Your Imagination

Wayne State University Professor LV Clark conducted a study of three groups of basketball players for a two week period. The first group was instructed to imagine themselves practicing their free throws. The second group of players was told to physically practice, while the third was directed not to practice at all.

After the two-week test, the players were asked to shoot ten free throws to compare their results with their previous averages.

The group that didn’t practice at all got worse. Not a shocker! But here’s what’s interesting:  The group that used their imagination showed the same level of improvement as the group who physically practiced. 

Like the basketball players, whatever you imagine can become your reality. The best way to use your imagination is to move from “can’t” to “could.”

For example, when Mike says, “We can’t do that,” the question to ask is, “What would be possible if you could?” This would cause Mike to imagine the possibility of increased sales and decreased stress.

By now, you may be thinking, “Cute stories Coach, but what does this have to do with me?” No worries, because I just imagined the possibility of you reading on!

Examples from Your World

Can’t find the right “A” technician? What would be possible if you could? This would help you imagine happier customers and a healthier bank account. The decision to change up your ad can put you on a better path.

“Can’t use the pricing matrix because your area is different?” What would be possible if you could? This would help you to imagine finally paying off that line of credit. The decision to actually do what you were taught in the first shop owner’s class can put you on a better path. 

“Can’t maintain the right car count?” What would be possible if you could? This would help you to imagine paying for that tropical vacation that you placed on your goal poster.

The decision to listen to the recordings of your incoming phone calls can put you on a better path. (By the way, 96% of the service advisors we phone shop fail to offer an appointment. Imagine that!)


So, there you have it. Harry’s decision to call Dan put their business on a better path. Dan’s decision to accept the position put his career on a better path.

Using your imagination can motivate you to make that one decision that can put your life on a better path. Now that’s something to consider when you feel like giving up!

P.S.  Looking to change up your hiring ad but don’t know where to start? Email to receive 7 Hiring Headlines That Will Make You Stand Out!

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Eric, the Accountability Coach, is an Executive Coach at ATI and has coached since 2009. Eric came to ATI having managed over 60 different automotive repair facilities and having supervised over 500 employees at a given time. He loves seeing members progress beyond what they thought was possible and improve their shop to the point where they can leave for weeks at a time and come back to a business that's better than when they left.